Connecticut Federal District Court Holds Discrimination on the Basis of Transgender Identity Is Prohibited by Title VII.

Published March 2016

By: Anthony M. Stites

A few weeks ago the EEOC had filed cases indicating sexual orientation is covered by Title VII as a form of sex discrimination. In a closely related case, a federal district court in Connecticut held that an employer discriminating on the basis of an individual's transgender identity would also violate Title VII.

In its decision, the court cited dictionaries as far back as Samuel Johnson's 1755 A Dictionary of the English Language on the meaning of the word "sex," and considered transgender cases from 1977 to the present. On the basis of the statute's language and prior case law, the court concluded that employment discrimination on the basis of transgender identity is discrimination "because of sex" and therefore violates Title VII. The court denied a Hospital's motion for summary judgment finding a job applicant who first presented as a male physician made a prima facie case of sex discrimination when the Hospital failed to hire the physician once the physician disclosed he would be transitioning to and would work as a female. (Fabian v. Hospital of Central Connecticut, No. 3:2012cv01154, decided March 18, 2016).

The case also addressed the issue of independent contractor vs. employee. The Hospital/ Employer asserted the position it sought to fill was for an independent contractor and therefore its hiring decision was not subject to Title VII. The Applicant, Dr. Fabian, argued that the position was more closely aligned with that of an employee. The court refused to determine the question on summary judgment, finding the Hospital could not show as a matter of law that the position it sought to fill was that of an independent contractor.

If you have any questions concerning the development and the clear movement of the courts towards protecting employees on the basis of their sexual orientation or transgender status, please do not hesitate to contact a Barrett McNagny lawyer. 

Barrett McNagny LLP

Legal Disclaimer

The information contained in the Barrett McNagny LLP website is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice on any subject matter. Furthermore, the information contained on our website may not reflect the most current legal developments. You should not act upon this information without consulting legal counsel.

Your transmission and receipt of information on the Barrett McNagny LLP website, or sending an e-mail to one of our attorneys or staff, will not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Barrett McNagny LLP. If you need legal advice and want to establish an attorney-client relationship with Barrett McNagny LLP, please contact one of our attorneys by telephone, email, or other means of communication, and allow the attorney to confirm that the firm does not represent other persons or entities involved in the matter and that the firm is willing to accept representation. Until such confirmation is provided by one of our attorneys, you should not transmit information to us that you consider confidential. If you do provide information to us, and no attorney-client relationship is established, the information will not be considered confidential or privileged, and our receipt of such information will not preclude us from representing another client in a matter adverse to you.

Any links to other websites are not intended to be referrals or endorsements of those sites.

Privacy Policy

Terms of Use

ADA Compliance

Transparency Cover Rule: Machine-Readable Files

Contact Us
My name is
and I am a(n)
seeking legal counsel in the area of 
me at
as soon as you can.

Thank you for contacting us!

A representative will be in touch with you shortly.

An attorney-client relationship will NOT be formed merely by sending an email to Barrett McNagny, LLP or to any of its attorneys. Please do not send any information specific to your legal needs until you obtain approval from a Barrett McNagny, LLP attorney, as the content of such email will not be considered confidential or privileged. By sending us an email, you confirm your understanding of this notification. If you agree, you may use the e-mail links on this page to contact an attorney.